|Phoebe Wardlaw (Right) and partner Clayton. Photo: feather finish.|
Not so for Monash Psychology student Phoebe Wardlaw, who is one of Australia’s finest ballroom dancers.
Phoebe started her ballroom journey at age 10, having previous taken ballet and jazz classes.
“I always wanted to dance ever since I can remember. I was first introduced to ballroom dancing by my grandmother who use to dance herself and I loved it from the moment I started,” said Phoebe.
“When I first started, I couldn’t stop dancing or practicing what I had learnt no matter where I was.”
“I remember I used to practice in the middle of the class at primary school without a care in the world, I loved it so much.”
In the following years, Phoebe entered in her first competitions as her talent as a dancer became apparent.
Phoebe (Right) and Clayton compete.
Photo: Phoebe Wardlaw.
At age 14 she registered with her first partner and started competing competitively in the youth C- grade events.
After working up the age group ranks, Phoebe entered the highest level of dancing, A grade, with her current partner, Clayton, in 2013.
The pair would go on to dance nationally and internationally.
“Competitive ballroom dancing takes a lot of dedication, time and passion to reach your goals."
“It is a very technical style of dance and involves a high level of stamina and fitness.”
“We train on average five times a week for lengthy hours and compete about every month throughout the year, leading up to the biggest competition of the year in December- the Australian Dancesport Championships.”
All her dedication and hard work led to Phoebe competing at the recent Malaysian Dance Championships.
The event took place at the One World Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, in a grand ballroom.
Phoebe and her partner competed in the Adult Amateur Standard event, which included couples from around the world, with some ranked in the top 30 in the world.
The pair set their sights on making the finals, but unfortunately finished 7th, with the top 6 progressing to the finals.
“We were really happy with this result.”
Photo: Phoebe Wardlaw.
“More importantly we felt that we had improved from our last competition and that the hard work and training was paying off.”
“We were really happy with how we went and feel motivated for nationals in December, back in Melbourne.”
This, however, is just the beginning of Phoebe’s career and she plans to continue developing as a dancer.
What does the future look like for Phoebe? Well, she hopes to keep travelling and developing.
“I would love to travel more with my dancing, I know there is so much more development to be done and so much more experience to gain, which makes the future so exciting.”
“My goal is to go overseas and learn off world class coaches in Europe, with the ultimate goal being to compete at the Blackpool Championships, the most prestigious ballroom dancing championship held in England.”
With the National Ballroom dancing Championship fast approaching in December, Monash University wishes Phoebe and her partner all the best, as they take on Australia’s finest! #monashpride
Written: James Oana and Joseph Arthur